Most of us are good at seeing flaws around us or within us. However, we may have difficulty realizing how much in our lives actually works well. Acknowledging this fact is at the heart of feeling gratitude. Gratitude is central to affirming all that we have and all that others do for us; in fact, it is central to a feeling of well-being. When feeling grateful, we are conscious of the manifold blessings in our lives.
In this week’s Torah portion the Israelites express their thanksgiving by bringing an offering to the Temple of an animal or a vegetarian option of grain. Something concrete is offered to show one’s gratitude. Gratitude, in the Torah, is an integral part of one’s spiritual life.
We too can nurture this feeling in ourselves and our children. Try stopping for a few moments each day and thinking of all the things you have for which to be grateful. When we do so, we become conscious of how much we really have in our lives and feel enriched. It is also a good habit to encourage in our children. It’s important not only to encourage them to say thank you by rote, but to help them become aware of what they have in their lives. In this way they can form a life-long habit of feeling and being grateful for the many blessings they have.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS about all the blessings they have in their lives.
CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:
- What are things for which you feel grateful?
- What are some ways to show gratitude?
- How can we learn to appreciate ourselves and those around us more?
By Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses
Values & Ethics—Through a Jewish Lens is created by Fred and Joyce Claar to bring the wisdom of Judaism into family discussions.